Developing your commercial awareness/business acumen
Developing your commercial awareness/business acumen

The following In-House Advisor guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Developing your commercial awareness/business acumen
  • Gaining familiarity with your organization
  • Putting a transaction in context
  • Appreciating the financial impact of what you do or don't do
  • Overcoming your fear of and discomfort with ‘the numbers’
  • Opportunities and methods of development

This note provides practical guidance and tips for in-house lawyers on developing and improving their own commercial awareness.

Gaining familiarity with your organization

Most business people find it more reassuring if their in-house lawyers are familiar with:

  1. the business

  2. the company structure (and its evolution)

  3. the industry

Indeed these are prerequisites to performing well as an in-house lawyer. Read Practice Notes: Building relationships with ‘business colleagues /clients’ and Developing business credibility.

This table sets out some suggestions as to how you might increase your awareness of the key areas:

  Documents to study Events Questions to pose to business people
Business strategy/plans Those which describe them Internal briefings How does this fit with the strategy?
Products/services on offer Brochures, website Customer demonstrationsStaff training Shadowing Can you show me what is does/how it works?
Profitable/on target activities Management accounts, analysts’ reports   How are you doing?